Home

Share this Story

Google Fiber May Switch Over to Wireless to Expand Quicker

google fiber charlotte

Four years ago, Google Fiber’s announcement gave hope to internet users across the United States who were sick of paying increasing prices for sub-par internet access at speeds that didn’t seem to be adjusting to the times. Today, Fiber has reached just seven cities (with five more under construction) and is being paused in select markets as Google tries to re-think its move into the high-speed internet business, according to the Wall Street Journal. Because building out a physical network like Fiber isn’t cheap or quick, Google may switch to a wireless internet route. 

Back in June, Google bought a company called Webpass that specializes in delivering wireless internet speeds throughout buildings at up to 1 Gig speeds. The company, in basic terms, beams high-speed wireless internet from one building to the next (both residential and businesses) and then delivers those 1 Gig speeds via ethernet throughout individual units at pretty reasonable prices. You don’t need a modem to connect, like you would with a traditional ISP, you just need a router that can plug-in to an ethernet jack and then distribute internet to the rest of your residence or office.

Webpass is currently in a number of cities and some 800 buildings, delivering internet to residences for as little as $60 per month, all without a modem rental or the fuss that comes with it. The only problem is that it’s building-specific and currently doesn’t work for individual houses.

Because Google now owns Webpass, they could decide that wireless is a cheaper and quicker route for getting high-speed internet to your home. According to WSJ’s report, Google will start testing wireless technology (probably Webpass’) for Fiber in a dozen new cities including LA, Chicago, and Dallas. While they do testing in these cities, they are pausing in others, like Portland and San Jose.

Now, the big question around this becomes – will Google figure out a way to get Webpass’ technology to individual houses and unlock it from businesses and multi-family units. That’s tough to say, but if there is anyone who could do it, it would be Google and the cash they have on hand.

I, for one, don’t really care how my internet gets to me, whether it’s wirelessly or through a Fiber line dug-up to my house. I just want it faster and cheaper and to not have anything to do with Comcast. If this is how Google thinks they can do it, bring it on.

Via:  Wall Street Journal
  • Sporttster

    “I just want it faster and cheaper and to not have anything to do with Comcast. If this is how Google thinks they can do it, bring it on.”
    AMEN to that….bring it on….competition is a wonderful thing and if there’s one thing Comcrap needs, it’s competitors.

  • I’m currently using LTE for my internet, so, I would welcome Google’s attempt at wireless internet with open arms.

  • JasonWhite

    Perhaps the most satisfying phone call I’ve made in my life was when I called Time Warner Cable 3 years ago to cancel my service because Google Fiber had finally arrived for me. The lady on the phone, as instructed by the higher ups I’m sure, tried to play dumb. “Well sir, what is it about their service that is so appealing to you??? Let me work with you to find a comparable Time Warner plan! I’m authorized to give you a discount for 12 months of service today only!” “Well let’s see…. I’m currently paying 60 dollars a month for 150Mbps Down and 10Mbps Up. Google Fiber is 70 dollars a month for 1000 Down and 1000 Up. So no…. there is NOTHING you can do for me except process my cancellation!!! Thank you!” Ah it was glorious!

  • J Dub

    Hell, I’d be okay with pricing that actually fits the speeds. $85 a month for 15 down is a ripoff. Just like every other area in the U.S. it’s either cable internet or slow DSL. Internet is a need just like water and electric.

  • Ilya Kolodiychik

    Some of you people have 300+ connections? In the US? WTF?

    I’m paying TWC $79.99/month for 50MB. Granted, even though TWC is known to charge a ton, I literally never have issues with my internet. Maybe reboot my router once every 6 months. It’s consistently good.

    I live in the sticks just outside the city of Albany, NY though…maybe that’s why. Maybe IN the city of Albany it’s worse?

    • Plerisei

      I am paying Brighthouse, which is basically Time Warner technology, 54.95 a month, for 200/20. They had a deal for new customers, and the operator offered it to me, an existing customer, and I was able to use the fact that I was told that to get the deal for a year.

      • h4rr4r

        non-symmetrical? eww!

        • Plerisei

          What do you mean ? Hehe

          • h4rr4r

            I mean you connection does not have the same upload and download speeds.
            That is gross.

        • Ilya Kolodiychik

          In the US probably 99% aren’t 1:1.

          • h4rr4r

            FIOS and Google fiber have to be 1% at least.

        • Copper WAN connections are rarely close to symmetrical

          • h4rr4r

            Every copper T1 I ever paid for was.

          • I’m referring to whst people use in 2016 for internet. DSL and cable

          • h4rr4r

            Fiber or GTFO.

      • Ilya Kolodiychik

        200/20. LOL. I’d kill to have that.

    • GTRKILLER

      Have TWC here in SoCal, get 200/20 but its actually closer to 250/20. Have the option to get 300 for $20 more I believe. My prior plan was 30/5 and I thought it was great back then lol

    • J Dub

      Try $85 for 153

    • Cory S

      150 for 300/30. 300 down is okay…but I’d really have to have a symmetrical link.

    • Stabby McKnifington

      I’m paying Comcast 89 for 150/30.

  • FirstLast1

    I will probably be dead by the time google makes it to my city. I have been hearing the same story for the past 10 years.

  • Keith Taylor

    I know they said they would be coming to Jax FL soon…I dont want this I just want them to put down the fiber. I am willing to pay 100 bucks a month ..why cause I am paying Comcast nearly 80 now and it cuts off every few hours. I have had my unit replaced 8 times in 5 years. Noone can tell me why. They start off fine and after about a month …recycle, recycle. drop…drop…SUppose to have 75 and 25 but rarely if ever have those according to software that I use it more like 35/15

    • Cliff

      I get good speeds with bright house but it drops like yours and reset and a few mins later it drops agian it does it every couple days. They know what it is but they don’t want to tell you

      • Plerisei

        Good thing Cox just bought time warner. I have brighthouse as well; recently received mail from Cox because of the merger. Should be interesting as they take over.

        • Uh, Cox didn’t buy TWC, Charter did. However, it’s more likely going to be hurting the reputation TWC was trying to restore, rather than continue.

          • Plerisei

            ahh okay. I don’t know much about Charter. Why do you say that?

          • I’ve been following charter to see what they’ve been up to. TWC has been getting much better, at least for me the past couple years. I’ve hardly ever have to call them anymore. Charter on the other hand, may still try and sneak in data caps despite the FCC telling them no to approve the actual buyout. Time will tell, but I honestly don’t have high hopes as all this is doing is eliminating more competition in areas that desperately need it.

    • gabravo2005

      That sucks. I’m glad I don’t have Comcast. I have Cox Communications and I pay 100/month for 350 up and like 50 down. I consistently get about 380/50. They also started rolling out their Gigablast service here in town which is also only 100/month. It just hasn’t made it to my street yet.

      • Plerisei

        Does Cox implement data restrictions per month like Comcast?

        • To my knowledge, no. But this depends on the market you’re in. I have a friend in Oklahoma City who has no issues. However, my friend in Vegas is a bit more paranoid and he has them as well.

  • This might be useful in some ways, but as a gamer, this is useless. Wireless has issues with latency and keeping up with it is a pain in the rear end. I want Google Fiber as much as anyone else so we can have proper competition in markets where it’s really needed. This is why I’d prefer a hard line to my desktop to have as little latency as possible.

    I hit post way too early so I had to edit this post. Fat fingers and SwiftKey being incredibly stupid doesn’t help either.

    • boktai1000

      This isn’t the same Wireless you’re thinking of. I used to work for a Wireless ISP (WISP) – and they send data via Microwave radio’s. It’s a bit different than what you’re thinking of, and it definitely sounds weird, but I can assure you that the latency that you’d get from it and download speeds is way greater than anything that Cable or DSL can provide. With the equipment that Google would likely use for back-end to route signal around a city likely with multiple radios as well for redundancy, they could likely even build a more redundant network and not be limited in the same ways they were with where they could bury fiber.

      • I’m of the opinion, ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’ Pictures won’t do any good for me since anyone could photoshop those, but my experience with any wireless network are the latency issues that come with it.

        Seeing though that my city is a bit behind the times with just about everything, I’ll likely never see any of this anyway.

        • You are seriously misinformed about wireless. The reason consumer wireless sucks is because most people are using the 2.4GHz radio, in congested cities and apartment buildings. Not to mention interference with microwaves, bluetooth, cordless phones, etc. Wireless is used for lots of backhaul at cell sites, businesses, etc. Wireless is the speed of light, just like fiber, and actually due to the line of site vs following the road, you could actually get lower latency on wireless vs wired.

          • Again, I’ll believe it when I see it. ‘Nuff said.

      • MastermindDrew

        I used to work for a WISP and the speeds were atrocious. DSL speeds but shared by an appt. building

        • boktai1000

          It depends on what equipment and how competent your team is at any local ISP – YMMV. The capability is there.

  • bose301s

    Living in Raleigh I hope they continue the rollout here with the physical fiber network.

    • Vantius

      I can’t wait for Fiber to get to my part of Raleigh so I can bundle my cable and internet through them. I’m paying $130 for TWC Internet (Extreme Internet+Ultimate 200 Upgrade, Variety+Standard+Starter TV and Epix, and Home Phone) and have been happy with them, but would like to reduce my bill.

  • BeerOnTap

    I just got FiOS installed Saturday. They gave me a killer deal, 150/150 for $59.99 per month, price guaranteed for two years. I can happily wait out those two years and maybe by then Google Fiber will come to my neighborhood.

  • Brian Menius

    Portland and San Jose be like…

    https://goo.gl/images/J7qJy8

  • Rich

    FiOS is looking into the same technology. It wouldn’t surprise me if they partner up, or better yet become one company. We are years away from this becoming mainstream, but its a start.

  • Haxcid

    No thanks. I work with this tech everyday. It is a nightmare. It does not work like your home AC router. The more people connected to it the slower it gets and the equipment required to maintain speeds is super costly and goes down a lot. You also have to deal with line of sight issues and peoples homes blocking signal strength. The management of this will be a huge nightmare for whomever gets stuck maintaining it. I would rather wait for fiber to my home.

    • Tyler Durden

      annnnnnnnnnd that’s why I had my suspicions. So it’s not even an individual line? You’re pretty much sharing it? Guess no 4K pron for me.

    • Cory S

      Yeah, I pretty much suspected all of that. Sounds super flaky.

    • Anonymous Coward

      Honestly it’s not that much worse/better than say a couple of Cisco ME4600 with MUX/WDM and a bunch of splitters in terms of maintenance. You still have the distribution layer to deal with on top of the aggregate layer and you’ll still have a distributed core of say a few ASR, CRS, or perhaps even some Nexus if you want to use something intended for datacenter in a ME role – it would work, but not very well advised. Has the bandwidth though I suppose…
      This is how fiber is done… none of it is cheap. All of it requires intelligent staff to maintain it. (Source: I’m a network engineer)

  • BobButtons

    “faster and cheaper” and uncapped

  • ltnstar

    Hopefully this comes to LA soon. With twc being purchased, that 50mbp for 35 will be going away. And not that FiOS is handled by frontier. Well my choice is becoming limited. How can a country who invited the Internet have these prices for less then 50mbps.

  • Mark555055

    Get this tech to rural areas asap.

  • Tyler Durden

    Why don’t we just give Google all the money to give us some fiber? http://bestanimations.com/Money/money-animated-gif-13.gif

    • El_Big_CHRIS

      Give them all the moniez!

    • TriguyRN

      I think that if they targeted cities with high populations of AP and DL readers they would be doing great.

    • 2Berad

      It is more about the right of ways and cutting the red tape for Google. Google fiber will only put it’s service in if the cities get out of the way and let Google deploy the service in a few months. If it takes to much time and politics Google will not even try, so it’s more about speed of deployment not money.

  • Suicide_Note

    I’m of the same opinion. I don’t care how I get those 1GB speeds, so long as I get them.

    And if deployment in my city gets here sooner by using wireless instead of fiber, so be it. Those speeds would annihilate what I get from Comcast, all for a lower price.

    • michael arazan

      Good chance your area may already have Fiber for Gb connection, but no telecom will touch it.

  • Nathan Borup

    ” I just want it faster and cheaper and to not have anything to do with Comcast. If this is how Google thinks they can do it, bring it on.”
    AMEN!

    • El_Big_CHRIS

      Seriously.

      • Jolenebcampbell4

        <<hp. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!ir185m:….,…..

    • michael arazan

      Telecoms are actively doing everything they can to stop fiber use. There are even threating cities and counties to drop all their services if they try to bring in fiber or find a company to use their fiber.

      300 cities have fiber that is not in use and none of the telecoms will touch it.
      http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/06/06/hundreds_of_cities_have_laid_fiber_for_faster_internet_but_big_telecom_companies.html

      • Erica Miller

        here [email protected] are in a battle with the city of utility pole usage trying to stop google and other fiber Companies.. The Metro is considering to build its own fiber backbone thru the city and sell use of it to all internet Companies to get more companies in the city instead of just one..

        my opinion is Wireless technologies are going to be the way to go ..

        • Verasjones2

          <<fb. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!il677r:….,…….

    • sinfoman

      I had copied/pasted this and was scrolling down to post. What @nathanborup:disqus said.

    • jhardy93

      I completely agree!

  • evan brown

    MAKE IT HAPPEN